“The Digits” Launches Crowdfunding Campaign on Indiegogo to Engage Public Before 13 Episodes are Produced for PBS

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All backers of The Digits new crowdfunding campaign will receive perks as well as access to a staged reading of the pilot script of “The Digits” new children’s PBS Show slated for 2015.

Now in its third season of filming, Scotty Iseri’s The Digits will turn to crowdfunding on Indiegogo for an exciting new chapter of the start-up’s adventures. Created in 2012 and funded independently since it began, The Digits (http://watchthedigits.com/) has been granted 13 episodes on PBS stations. To get the ball rolling, Iseri has come up with an idea to give the public a special way to be involved with this growing production by offering all backers a live reading on stage of the pilot script of The Digits TV Show. Iseri’s crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo launched April 23, 2014 with the goal to raise $12,000 to market and perform the live kickoff show hosted here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-first-look-at-the-digits-tv-series#home.

Star and creator of the hit viral web series “Scotty Got an Office Job,” Iseri assembled a team to design and produce The Digits to teach children typically not fun subjects like math and science in a fun way (teaser video: http://watchthedigits.com/). Drawing from Portland’s vast wellspring of local creative talent, educators and performing artists, The Digits hope to gain more national support and funding for the PBS project.

“For anyone passionate about elementary education and especially startups, this marks a rare opportunity to get in on the ground floor as we steer toward our dream of being on PBS,” said Iseri. “We are very lucky to have a commitment to air 13 episodes, and we want to make them the best they can be. This is a unique opportunity to get some sweet rewards and help put the 'public' back in Public Television.”

All backers will have access to the live reading, with a special viewing code so they won’t need to be in Portland physically to view it. Here are some of the perks and reward levels Indiegogo supporters will receive:

  • $5 #1 FAN: Name will be on The Digits website as a contributor plus private link to the live stream of the event, or a VIP ticket if in the Portland area.
  • $50 DIGITAL DIGIT: Download of "The Digits: Fraction Blast" plus CD "Homework Hotline".
  • $1,000 DIGITS VIP: Personal hangout with The Digits on the Uncommon Denominator that happens through Skype, Google+ Hangout or in person.

Iseri is so committed to making smart cool again that he has conducted numerous Skype chats with teachers and the cast of The Digits, and even had them chime in on comment boards to help kids with homework questions. Here's what teachers have said about The Digits:

"[The Digits] fit my curriculum beautifully. Their lesson on telling time was a perfect tie in to what we do in the classroom. My students love the quirkiness and jokes in The Digits. They're really drawn to the characters and their high emotion and energy. I would say what is so great about The Digits is that they have a little bit of something for [all ages]. [The Digits] are a wonderful resource," said Alison Hogan, primary school teacher at The Episcopal School of Dallas.

"My students loved watching The Digits! They still sing the One Minute Long Song and really enjoyed the humor behind it. It's a great segue into my lessons. When I told them they were going to be doing a live Skype with The Digits there was a standing ovation. They were so excited for it. The live element helps kids practice for real world events where they have to make decisions and respond quickly. The face-to-face interaction is way better than any touchscreen," said Luis Lucero, 3rd grade teacher in Soledad California.

The Digits (http://watchthedigits.com/) is one of the only educational shows that’s made for older elementary kids (ages 7-11). Most educational media stops around age 5 and then picks up again when kids are cramming for their SATs. But when kids get too old for Sesame Street, it's more important than ever to inspire them to stick with math and science. According to Iseri, a new father himself, this is the age when kids are deciding who they are, what they like and what they’re good at. It's also when math and science start to get more difficult; math moves from simple arithmetic and into more abstract concepts like fractions, or geometry.

Iseri wants to see that students are better armed with a sense of intellectual pride when approaching math and science. “The Digits can be a rocket booster to middle school math as it lays the groundwork for higher-level mathematics,” Iseri said.

The Digits (http://watchthedigits.com/) is a Portland-based web series and app created by Scotty Iseri. Scotty is an Oregon native and an award-winning media creator with 10 years of experience in entertainment and audience development. Scotty assembled a team to design The Digits to teach children typically not fun subjects like math and science in a fun way. The Digits was created under the guidance of a curriculum designer and implemented by a 20-year veteran schoolteacher. Iseri strives to address a slightly older age group than most educational apps, aimed at later elementary students (3rd-5th grade), which is a critical time in a child's development.

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Sally Murdoch
The Digits
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